Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 12, 2020

Happy Easter from ANZ LitLovers

We’re not religious, The Spouse and I, and neither was The Ex, and apart from some desultory Hot Cross Buns, we don’t usually take much notice of it.

But this Easter, this strange and anxious and maybe lonely Easter, I thought I’d share an Easter story from a while ago…

It was late on Easter Saturday when The Offspring was two, when we realised in the midst of a very busy life that Easter Sunday had crept up on us.  What with work and study and taming the garden of the house we were renting, we had forgotten to ‘do something’ about Easter.  The Offspring was an easy-going child, but he did not like sweet things, including chocolate.  We had intended that the Easter Bunny would bring some small Easterish toy.

I need hardly add that there was no such thing as 24/7 trading.  Not so much as a 7/11.  And it was far too late to summon help from my mother, who could be relied upon to ‘do something’ with a sewing machine or my father who would happily produce ‘something’ from The Shed.

What to do?  Someone was bound to mention the Easter Bunny at some stage, and although he was very little, The Offspring would always remember that the EB had not come.  We could not countenance such a betrayal.

For reasons I cannot remember, I had a long purple evening gown. (It was the 70s, yes, purple was ‘in’).  I had made it myself, and I hated it because I had cut it incorrectly and in the bright lights of a dinner dance, the upside-down nap right at the front went in the wrong direction.  I was self-conscious about this panel seeming to be a different colour to the rest of the dress… all that work and effort, and it did not make me look svelte and elegant as I had planned.

Out came the scissors.  I was going to make an Easter Bunny!

If it’s not glaringly obvious from the photo, I have to confess that while I was reasonably competent with a sewing machine, I could not draft a sewing pattern to save my life.  Worse than that, I could not even draw a rabbit, much less envisage the relevant shapes to cut.  The Ex helped me to cut the belly shape using a salad bowl as a template, and he hand drew a sausage shape as a template for the appendages.  He cut, and I sewed, and we stuffed him with the contents of a pillow.  We gave it droopy whiskers and a nose with some 12 ply yarn…

We figured that it did not matter that he was an embarrassing effort.  The Offspring would be pleased that the EB had called by, but he would lose interest and then we could surreptitiously make it disappear.  We could have an EB-related cover story about the disappearance if caught out.  No one would ever know what bad parents we were, or that we had forgotten our responsibilities in respect of Magical Midnight Visitors.

Wrong! Bun, as he came to be known, was an instant hit.  He went everywhere with us.  His story was told, to the astonishment of small friends who only got an Easter egg. In those days the children we knew all only got one egg, and only from the EB.  Easter was not the choc-fest it is today.  To have a tangible reminder of the Magical Midnight Visitor was amazing!

Bun was part of our lives for years.  He lost his pathetic whiskers, but otherwise remained unscathed.  I don’t know what became of him.  But I’ll never forget the night I made him!

 

 

 

 

 


Responses

  1. That’s lovely Lisa – thank you for sharing! It’s often the least likely things which are a hit with children (at least such was the case with mine….) We don’t celebrate much now that they’re all grown up, but happy Easter to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s lovely Lisa, thanks for sharing :-) Happy Easter to you and your family!

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  3. A very nice story, Lisa.

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    • Best wishes for Pesach for you, Moshe. have you been able to have the Seder in some way?

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      • Thank you, Lisa. Only me and my wife are at home and we had, to put it mildly, a sort of Seder. Without my daughter and grandkid. After the “Seder” we played Rummikub, lol, and talked about … LITERATURE – that I should return to writing, who are the authors we like and why. A very literary Seder. We are not religious.

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        • Well, that’s the thing about these religious festivals… they have been co-opted as family festivals.
          I have a Jewish friend who is not religious, but she loves to do the rituals with her family, and she is missing her grandchildren too.
          I’m intrigued by your mention of a ‘return to writing’… tell me more?

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          • I used to write short stories. They have been published in several literary magazines and anthologies in the U.S. I was a finalist in an international contest for short stories (Spain, 2015) and received an Honorable Mention by Glimmer Train’s magazine in 2016. But I am now on long hiatus.

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            • Ah…
              Maybe you will be inspired to write something about the present situation?
              If nothing else, I implore you, write the story of your life, even if you think it’s mundane. Do it not for publication, but for your grandchild. How I wish my parents had done this, and also the grandparents I never knew…

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              • I want to write about my father by starting from a photograph of him as a 12-year old child in Ukraine, holding a sketch notebook. He later became a painter. He had lived for 97 years. He grew without a father: his father abandoned him and his mother at this age and left for America. I would like to write as if I were him, the person in the photograph. I don’t know yet how I would proceed with my plan. 

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                • That’s easy. Just begin.
                  Imagine we were at a table, with a fine glass of wine to share, somewhere conducive to a lazy afternoon and some storytelling, and I asked you (as your father) to tell me about yourself.
                  The wine and the lazy afternoon is important. When strangers first meet, their stories are guarded. They present a face, like the face we present on Facebook, with parts of our lives hidden away. But as the afternoon wears on, and the wine relaxes us, and the person listening takes a real interest, we become less guarded and begin to reveal more about ourselves.
                  *pause*
                  I’ve just realised where I got this idea… see https://anzlitlovers.com/2012/11/12/the-conversation-by-david-brooks/

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                • I get your point, Lisa. I’ll give it a thought. Thanks for the link to your review of David Brooks’ book.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely story Lisa, I have a great vision now of you beavering away at the sewing machine, desperately trying to make this thing look like an EB….

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    • LOL, they say we always remember best the traumatic times in our lives…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great story, Lisa. Happy Easter

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    • You too, Simon, have a great day:)

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  6. This is such a living and moving story of true love. The photo is to be treasured, with its graphic shadow, and tender gesture. May Bun, in all his simple beauty, be with you this Easter.

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    • Thank you, Carmel, it’s a great compliment to receive from a real writer like you x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A lovely story Lisa, and a wonderful rabbit! Happy Easter Sunday to you. My dog and I have been for .a run, and I doubt if my husband knows it is Easter Sunday. I did have to explain to him why I had a rabbit sitting on the balcony for passing children to see.

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    • I was out at the crack of dawn this morning doing an EB ‘run’ for my little COVID-19 penfriends in the street. I am still warming up, it was pelting down and freezing!

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  8. What a beautiful story Lisa. It really resonated with me. :)

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    • Happy Easter Karenlee x. Not the one you were expecting but I hope it’s a good one anyway.

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      • Thank you Lisa. Yes, far from expectations but lovely to spend time with Son and DIL. I’ve had an Easter chocolate and a fabulous walk as well as a hot cross bun so, all in all, a good day.

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  9. That’s a great story in so many ways Lisa … and it shows you weren’t bad parents at all. Thanks for sharing it.

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    • Thanks, Sue and Happy Easter to you and all of yours. It’s a shame you’re not together for your grandson’s first Easter, but it will be all the sweeter next year when he knows what it’s all about.

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      • Thanks Lisa. yes, it is as I think they planned to come up this year. But, time flies. This is his second Easter! He’ll be two in June.

        It also looks that no-one will be able to be here for Dad’s 100th in May. Not that he is up for a big celebration but he does like family.

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        • Oh, that will be hard. I hope you can think of ways to make it good for him all the same…

          Liked by 1 person

          • We can, I’m sure. He won’t want much anyhow but I’ll have to think of a little commemoration of some sort because he will appreciate that.

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            • You know, what Tim’s Mum loved better than anything, was the scrapbook I made for her, with photos of family occasions. You don’t have to be any good at scrapbooking (I’m no expert) just a photo album that allows you to write or stick in details of what it was. I’ll email you an example page. She loved to browse through it because it brought back great memories of what she loved best, being with her family. I’ll do it now so that I don’t forget…

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              • Thanks Lisa – got the email. The looks lovely. My brother’s partner organised a book a couple of years ago for him where we all had to answer a few questions – but that was all text. This is different … I’ll think about doing something along these lines using pics. I’m sure he would like it too.

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                • You’ll find it easier than I did because (I know this because you’ve told me) you’ve digitally organised all your photos!

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, that’s true, pretty much – not all catalogued yet but all accessible with some access points (except for very old photos for which we no longer had negatives and which will need individual scanning) but I wouldn’t be going back there anyhow.

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  10. Beautiful story! Shows the joy you get from being creative and giving, and the love that is stronger than fear.

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    • LOL Anna, I don’t think creative is the right word, it was desperation that drove my needle:)

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  11. I must say I was worried by your heading – did I tell Karen I never read headings – but Happy Easter! and from Lisa!, Still, it turned out well.

    Because truck driving is not day-specific, especially delivering to mines, I quite often don’t know when public holidays are coming up, and in isolation I only worked out it was Easter when I found the bottle shop was shut,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha, yes, not the best headline…
      We’ve got so used to everything being open, it’s a shock when it’s not.

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  12. What a terrific story! I had high hopes that Bun would not be a flash in the pan! 😄 It’s the sort of toy my eldest son would have hung on to. 🐰
    All the best to you and the spouse today (and every day).

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    • Happy Easter to you too Theresa, and all your family and a fond hope that by the time next Easter rolls around, you will all be well and healthy to enjoy it x

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. Your story reminds me of a knitted bear my mother made for my youngest sister in 1966. Mum was never happy with the bear: he was not ‘perfect’, and she made a ‘replacement’. My sister loved Bear Bear (as he was known) and wonky and misshaped as he may have been, Bear Bear lived on for well over 20 years, His replacement? Perfect, consigned to oblivion.

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    • That’s a lovely story, Jennifer… these are the stories (as I was telling Moshe, above) that we should cherish… and make sure that they are not lost to the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Very sweet story – and one I can well relate to!

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    • Thanks, Rose, maybe we will see how you relate to it in one of your stories one day!

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  15. Lovely story Lisa. I had a drama one Xmas when the layby I had picked up on Xmas Eve was missing half the items. So a not happy ex had to find some last minute presents for the middle child which meant a long drive to Kings Cross the only place open. He came home with a couple of large toy cars and one of those laughing bags from the 70’s. That was bonus for it changed the mood after the drama. And the boy liked it. He writes comedy today so it must have made an impression. I don’t recall Easter bunnies growing up in Scotland.It was a hard boiled egg dipped in some colouring and a small Cadbury one if you were lucky. What I was looking for was a new set of clothes which never happened but the church attending children were out in their finery. I was very jealous too. My dad was not one for religion so we did not partake.
    After all that have a Happy Easter.

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    • LOL We middle children must be jinxed when it comes to getting the presents we ask for. In pre Barbie (and obviously my pre-feminist) days, there was a large ‘bride doll’ on the market. She had a bust (which I did not) and high heels (which I borrowed from my mother when she was busy elsewhere). I yearned for this doll.
      A letter was duly despatched to Father Christmas, but, unknown to me for many years, the dolls were sold out everywhere. My mother scoured the city day after day without success. In panic she bought a ‘baby doll’ and knitted a beautiful layette for it, in case the worst happened. On the last day before the shops shut, she found the bride doll somewhere and so when Father Christmas came, I had two dolls. It was a family joke that when the bride doll came, she came with a ready-made baby.
      The doll lived on for the next generation. My mother made clothes to match the outfits that I wore as a teenager. It had a school uniform, a first evening dress (a tangerine mini!) and so on. My nieces played dress-ups with these outfits when they were children.
      I sometimes wonder, with all the plethora of toys that children have today, if they will grow up to have special memories like your boy has. I hope so.

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  16. Lovely ‘tail’ er ‘tale. I hope you and yours are enjoying a quiet Easter Day. I’m sure it’s quiet, up to you to make it happy. 😍😍😍 All the best.

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    • We’re fine:) I hope the weather for your walk with Ollie is better than what we have here. Amber has her coat on!!

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  17. A sweet tale Lisa. T is shocked by all the Easter bunny stuff here. He said growing up in Ireland Easter bunny was definitely not a thing.

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    • I get that…
      In a past life The Offspring had a girlfriend who was an event organiser, and she used to do a massive Easter egg hunt at the Werribee Zoo. It was a charity event, so all in a good cause, but TBH, footage of children greedily hunting out more and more and more made me feel a bit queasy.

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  18. I hope the children of today have those special memories Lisa but my thoughts are they have far too many toys. I had so few that can probably remember most of them and my siblings too for I was an expert at appropriating theres being the eldest child and the boss. Oh dear!
    And the greed for more chocolate or more presents does annoy me very much.

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    • I hear you, and yet, I remember there were some children at my school who had nothing except a screen because ‘toys make too much mess’. That seems like deprivation too…

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  19. I love this story so much :-)

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    • Thanks, Kate, happy Easter to you and family:)

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  20. What a great story, Lisa. Thanks for telling it

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    • Thanks Jonathan, I hope you have a good day today and that little Ruby is enjoying her Easter too:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re back on duty two days a week after both households did a two week isolation stint. She’s doing fine, it looks as if she loves the extra presence of both parents at home, even if one or other is always behind a closed door ‘at work’.

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        • Yes, my neighbours are doing that… I don’t know how they manage to keep the rambunctious one from pounding on the door, he’s totally gorgeous, but a very lively kid as children should be, but which makes it hard I am sure.

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Bun is without question the most splendid EB I have ever seen.

    What my son remembers most about Easters past is the time a crow (well, an Australian raven) ate all the eggs I had hidden in the garden. If I hadn’t caught the cunning corvid in tbe act, we would never have known what had happened to the shiny temptations.

    Happy Easter to you and yours.

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    • What villainy! I have never heard of that before, but knowing those birds I am not surprised…

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  22. Thank you for telling the story of Bun, it was lovely :)

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  23. Lovely story and it’s always like this with small children: you’ll never know what will catch their attention, they always surprise you.

    Or The Offspring had the intuition that this bunny was sewed with love.

    The Easter Bunny doesn’t really exist in France, except in my region. We used to get chocolate and eat a cake shaped like a lamb. (l’agneau pascal)

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    • So true… I remember taking him to the zoo, and he was fascinated by the hoses everywhere…

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  24. Here I am – it’s just barely Easter morning and I enjoyed your story immensely because it’s hard to remember it’s Easter. My mom, age 96, is very religious and she is quarantined in the hospital, having had a heart attack which caused a blood clot so it was two emergency surgeries on Thursday night then ICU and now healing on a regular ward. I call.

    My daughter, moderately religious, is semi-quarantined with her hubby and youngest child while her older daughter works shifts at the hospital and can’t go home (quarantine). Meanwhile the son, not religious, is semi-quarantined with his fiancé and maybe one last child. I, not religious, am alone and stuck at home in California although I did have a dinner invite – It doesn’t seem right or really safe.

    It’s different this year. I didn’t even get cards off to the kids or the grands. But I loved your story.

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    • It certainly is different, and it is very hard for some people. I hope your mother continues to improve…

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Ah, the lovely, cheery unpredictability of children! And the panicked sacrifices of mothers everywhere!

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    • LOL it was no sacrifice to part with that purple velvet…

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Oh, Lisa! That is the SWEETEST story! That’s absolutely made my day 😍 It’s just reminded me, when I was very young, I vaguely remember the Easter Bunny leaving me… an address book. I must ask my parents about the series of events that led up to that 😅

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    • Oh yes, do… that sounds most intriguing, and a story that must not be forgotten.

      Like


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